The idea that Obama hasn’t done much for poor Americans is simply not true; by some measures, he has done more than any other recent president. But Herbert is right that Obama has stopped talking publicly about the subject. Obama hasn’t made a single speech devoted to poverty as president, and if you visit barackobama.com these days, you would be hard-pressed to find any reference to the subject whatsoever. As a result, he is missing — so far, at least — an important opportunity to change and elevate the national conversation on poverty. What we know about poverty, and specifically about its effect on children, has shifted markedly in the last few decades. New ideas are emerging from the fields of economics, neuroscience and developmental psychology. Four years ago, Barack Obama was the one politician in Washington who seemed attuned to those ideas and most concerned about addressing them. And the intellectual journey that led him to these new ways of thinking about poverty started in Roseland.